Training Children

We Need to Tell Our Kids That It’s Hard to Follow Jesus

Photo credit: All photos in this post are property of The Crossing, Columbia, MO. See originals here. I just spent the past year with a team at my church writing and producing a curriculum for our one-week kids camp, called Kids Club. This is my 16th year of helping run

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Resource for How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex (Ages 3+)

5 year old: “Mom, how do the eggs get in the mama bird’s belly?” Mom: “Um, well, (frantically trying to formulate an answer that will not spur more questions) the daddy puts them there.” (Not my best parenting moment). 5 year old: “Does it hurt for the egg to come

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Two Questions to Ask Your Child Every Day

Dinner time is far from picture perfect these days. While I do have hopes of one day sitting around the table and talking about the happenings of the day, our current meal times are a combination of sibling squabbles, standing up in chairs, spilled drinks, and complaints. It’s usually all wrapped

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“Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?”

“Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?” My 6-year-old’s anxious question pierced my heart. It wasn’t the first time one of my children had asked this of me. I remember asking my parents that same question around his age. How do I want to respond his question? What does my child

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The Gift of a Granola Bar

Monday mornings are a big deal around our house. Reason for all the excitement? Trash day. My kids not only love trash day because of the huge trucks that give them a honk and a wave but they have formed a sweet bond with the hardworking men who pick up

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Character is Caught, Not Taught

As a child of the 80s, I grew up watching my dad get his newspapers out of those huge, metal dispensers. I loved putting the quarters in for him and the immediate ability to pull a previously-locked door open. One particular Sunday morning we were in front of the Casey’s

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This well-done, biblical devotional book is perfect for families with elementary and teenage children. Parents will find it easy to use all year round.

Book Review of “One Year of Dinner Table Devotions”

Do you know what one extensive study shows to be the three crucial factors in teenagers retaining their faith through high school and beyond? The first and second of those three factors are two things that you and I can start doing when our kids are young. The #1 factor is

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10 Ways to Cultivate Grateful Hearts in Your Kids

Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here. Yesterday I shared a bit of our parenting struggles as of late (read: entitlement!) and

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Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

Book Review: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here. We moved to a new school last August. My 3rd grader in particular has

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Five Reasons My Strong-Willed Child is a Blessing

I’m currently in a pretty large women’s Bible study filled with moms. What I’ve learned from listening to moms in all stages–some with their first infant, to some with kids in college–is that most families have a tough kid in the batch. We’ve finessed it down to calling them our

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Pacifier, Be Gone!

The time had come. My 2 year old, pacifier-loving son has reached a point in his manhood that takes much courage. Much strength. Much hardship. It was his time. His time to lose the pacifier. Every young man comes to this turning point in his life. Some at the ripe

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When Motherhood Gets Messy

When Motherhood Gets Messy

This guest post by Rebekah, from Barren to Beautiful, has touched my heart. It had me laughing and crying all in the same 5 minutes. Rebekah has a true gift of sharing her heart and providing much-needed encouragement for mothers. We are thankful to have her share on Thriving Home today.  

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Free Printables for Summer

FREE Fun Printables for Summer

Hey there, Thriving Home readers! My name is Julie and I blog over at Happy Home Fairy. One of my favorite things to do on my site is create fun FREE Printables that help sweet mamas like you build a happy home! Polly and Rachel asked if I would share

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Seven Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Parent

I knew so much more about parenting before I had children. Yes friends, I had it all figured out. I knew the type of mom I’d be, the type of kids I’d raise, the type of foods we eat, the countless learning activities we would do together and so on.

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Family Christmas Celebration

Santa or No Santa?

Last weekend I had a girls weekend with my college besties. As we’ve talked about before here and here, getting away with girlfriends is refreshing for the soul. We had a blast (and almost got snowed in!!) The weekend was full of laughs, good food and great conversations. One conversation

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“Mommy, Are You Happy?”

Mommy Monster has been on the prowl. I’ve just found myself in a little funk in which I’ve been quick to anger and acting like a hormonal teenager in the way I have been snippy and quick to anger with my kids. After a middle of the night battle with

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Bible Learning Cards

We are all about getting the word out there about toys, products, websites and music that we love. A product that I recently stumbled across (well, actually it was sent to me to try out) was a set of these Bible Learning Cards made by Words2Remember4Kids. No, I’m not getting

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talking to your kids about sex

6 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Sex

Guest post by Nathan, Rachel’s husband Rachel and I are the parents of three kids, and though the oldest is just starting second grade, we’ve been occasionally discussing how to talk with our kids about sex. In fact, it might be better to say that we’ve been discussing how to

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Making My Summer at Home with Kids Count

Today is my 1st grade son’s last day of school (finally!). After one last trip to the Dollar Store this morning, I’m ready! Summer provides a magical (well, at least at first) and unique time to pour into my three kids at home. The great amount of free time together,

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2013 Top Ten Posts: Parenting

  1. Cultivating a Heart that Obeys: Dealing with a Whiny Insolent Child 2. Make Your summer at Home Count 3. Packing a Hospital Bag Printable Check List 4. Three Questions to Ask a Child Who Has Done Wrong 5. Baby Gear: What do you actually need? 6. What to

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Interview with Author Rachel Jankovic

Have you heard of author, blogger and mom of six, Rachel Jankovic? She penned two fantastically brief and poignant parenting books I’ve reviewed: Loving the Little Years and her latest release, Fit to Burst. If you have children at home, put a show on for the kids (and don’t feel

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9 Truths to Believe When My Child is Suffering

When our firstborn son was 20 months old and I was 9 months pregnant with our second child, my husband and I sat in silence in the procedure waiting room, nervously awaiting the results of his endoscopy and colonoscopy. He had been sick for months and no one had a

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Family Devotional Cootie Catcher

Easy Family Devotional Activity: Make a “Verse Catcher”

You know you have a great babysitter when you come home and she’s playing “Psalm Catcher” with the kids. Remember those paper thingy-ma-bobbers that we made in grade school called “Cootie Catchers”? It’s the same concept, except our sitter had listed Psalms to look up on the inside. The kids

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I’m a Broken Parent Today

Note: I wrote this cathartic piece for myself earlier this week. I went ahead and posted it today, though, on the off chance there are a few other parents out there who need to these reminders, too. The rest of the day and week went better after this self-reflection and

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What to Expect When Transitioning from One Kid to Two

First of all, I think this post’s title is a bit misleading. Each family dynamic is different and there is no formula on what to expect when a major transition happens in your life. That being said, I am now close to 5 months into my transition from one to

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Calm. Fair. Firm.

I’m only two years into parenting but one thing I’ve learned quickly is our little ones get into funks. Every seasoned mom can testify to it and there is almost no way around it. Our kids get into funks and that is part of it. My two year old happens

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Parenting Book Review: Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic

Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here. You may know that Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic was

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10 Things Babysitters Wish You Knew

I must admit, I’m pretty excited about this post. It took a lot of work and research but I think the information in it is so valuable not only to moms but to our children that our babysitters watch. Just like any other job, having a babysitter who is happy

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Parenting Inspiration for Real Life

Recognize this picture? Well, I know most of you probably don’t recognize my family, per se, but recognize what’s going on here? This was taken several years ago, but I love it because it shows us as a REAL family. Toddler tantrum, tired baby, and me with my stay-at-home mom

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How to Make a Chore Chart

How to Make a Chore Chart (a.k.a. Swift Kick in the Pants Chart)

You’re probably not like me. You probably don’t sweep your kitchen mostly just when you notice the ants beneath the kids’ stools nibbling on crumbs. You probably don’t check off everything else on your to do list but “swish the toilets”. And, I’m sure you don’t make a discrete pile

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Simple Toddler Activities

Simple Toddler Activities

Keeping a toddler busy is hard work. While I really do believe it is ok to let kids be bored sometimes, I’ve found that our home is happier and simply more stable when my two year old is occupied. It takes some planning and work to have creative outlets for your

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Lessons Learned Through Our Adoption Process

My name is Liz. I’m the wife to Jon, the mommy to Charlotte (5), Riley (3), and the soon-to be the mommy to Juliet (5 months). We moved to Seattle about 5 months ago and are adjusting to our new life in the Northwest. We’ve been in process for three

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Help Child with Separation Anxiety

Five Tips to Help a Child’s Separation Anxiety

Thanks so much to our friend, Jess, for guest posting today. After volunteering and working full time in children’s ministry for years, Jess has a lot of wisdom to offer on this subject! Take it away, Jess! It happens every Sunday in churches everywhere: a mom or dad hands a kiddo

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“On Purpose” from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

“On Purpose” from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

Not only is Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones something kids of a wide age range can enjoy, but it’s something that stirs my own heart every time I read it. In fact, I’ve been reading one each morning before most of the kids are up. It’s

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Thought-Provoking Quotes for Parents

Thought-Provoking Quotes for Parents

In six years’ time, our family went from this… To this… No, I’m not pointing out my husband’s drastic hair change. Although, like the addition of two more children, it was a much welcomed change. 🙂 Yes, it’s gone by fast so far. All those veteran parents who have told

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Practical Ideas for Teaching Children to Give

Practical Ideas for Teaching Children to Give

How kids learn to view and use their material possessions from early on has eternal significance in their lives. Today, I want to explore where we as parents can begin when cultivating a giving heart in our children. I write this for myself as much as for anyone else, since

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Bible

Hiding God’s Word in My Toddler’s Heart {Guest Post}

Guest post by Rachel J. from Somebody Come and Play. Throughout my teaching years, one learned lesson has always stuck with me: adults (parents and teachers alike) often underestimate what children are capable of. I saw it over and over again in the classroom. A kindergartener tackles a book “too

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Seven Benefits of Having a Family Dog

If you can’t tell from my previous post about installing a Pet Peek Window in our fence, we are dog people. Growing up, my family always had 2-4 dogs. My dad hunts and they had lots of land to run around on so it never felt like we were smothered

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3 Questions to Ask a Child Who Has Done Wrong

3 Questions to Ask a Child Who Has Done Wrong

Note: You may want to read the full blog post on this topic called How to Cultivate a Heart That Obeys: Strategies for Dealing with a Whiny, Insolent Child first. Proverbs 6:23 says, “Correction and instruction are the way to life….” Did you know that spending time correcting our children

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World’s Best Father

World’s Best Father

If you are looking for a giggle today, head over to the Engledow Art Photography facebook page. The photographer has been working on a series called World’s Best Father. In his series of laughable photos, this photographer pokes fun at distracted dads. “When Alice was about eight weeks old, I wanted

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Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

I know there are many of us out there who love to sing the praises of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, especially the new collectors edition (at right) that includes the audio version. It’s been one of the most influential and perhaps life-changing children’s Bibles I’ve seen in

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Do We Make Parenting Too Complicated?

Do We Make Parenting Too Complicated?

There are times when I know I don’t think hard enough about the implications of my parenting and behavior toward my kids. Like this or this. There are other times that I make parenting too complicated, though. I know I do. All the parenting books I’ve read are helpful…to a

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How God Refreshed My Soul in the ER {Guest Post}

How God Refreshed My Soul in the ER {Guest Post}

Today’s guest post is written by Gloria Furman from Domestic Kingdom. “I can’t believe we’re wasting a good family hair day,” I joked as I marched my three little ducklings out the door on the way to the Emergency Room. I was mostly kidding about the hair. Of course there

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Psalm 23 in Action: The Good Shepherd vs. A Monster

Psalm 23 in Action: The Good Shepherd vs. A Monster

My 5-year-old quietly traipsed downstairs. “Mommy, I keep seeing a monster in my mind and it won’t go away.” There are times when my kids use stall tactics at bedtime. You know, like, “I need to go potty!”, “I need a drink,” or “My toe hurts.”  I could tell this

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Mommy’s Store: Where Playing Leads to Learning

Mommy’s Store: Where Playing Leads to Learning

When it rains it pours.  Not only was one of my original posts, Busy Night Recipes: Cheap, Easy, Healthy, Kid-Friendly Meals, featured at Meet Penny today.  But, I am also featured today on one of my newest favorite blogs, I Can Teach My Child. Jenae, the author of I Can

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Mommy Spotlight: Abi

Mommy Spotlight: Abi

Whether a first-time mommy or a weathered veteran, we believe every mother has some valuable wisdom that she’s gleaned along this crazy journey we call parenting. Mommy Spotlight highlights a mom who is striving to create a thriving home in her own unique way. Tell us a little about you

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Guest Post: Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

Guest Post: Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

Growing up, Advent and Lent were seasons that not just my church but my family observed. Both were times of anticipation and waiting. Both were times of drawing closer to the manger and to the cross. Both were opportunities my parents used to start intentional conversations about the Gospel. Lent

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4 Mistakes I’ve Already Made As a Parent

4 Mistakes I’ve Already Made As a Parent

One of my fears in writing a blog called Thriving Home and that sometimes speaks to parenting issues is that you’d get the ridiculous impression that I somehow have my act all together as a mother.  Excuse me while I have a good belly laugh at the thought. Bah, ha,

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Guest Post: Reading Aloud With Our Littlest Bambinos

Guest Post: Reading Aloud With Our Littlest Bambinos

In my years as an elementary school teacher, I saw the benefits of reading aloud to my students everyday first hand. It sparked their creativity, increased their vocabulary and grammar, improved their attention span, stimulated their interest in new ideas, promoted communication skills and gave us a platform to discuss

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Encouragement to be a Praying Mother

Encouragement to be a Praying Mother

As a new mom, I worry when my daughter is in someone else’s care – even if it’s her own grandma! I don’t think I can even begin to comprehend the worry a mother must feel if her child, no matter how old, is in danger or unreachable. Whether a

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Mommy Spotlight: Erika

Mommy Spotlight: Erika

Whether a first-time mommy or a weathered veteran, we believe every mother has some valuable wisdom that she’s gleaned along this crazy journey we call parenting. Mommy Spotlight highlights a mom who is striving to create a thriving home in her own unique way.  Today, we introduce you to Erika,

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Guest Post: Sewing Buttons

Guest Post: Sewing Buttons

Several months ago, my husband Jeremy pointed out that he had a couple of shirts that needed buttons sewn on. I remember looking at him like, “yeah right, I’ll get to that someday.” (Did I mention I have three kids, three and under, one of which was born this year,

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Babies with Acid Reflux: Help for Moms

I survived having a baby with acid reflux. I don’t use the term survived lightly, nor would other moms whose kiddos had reflux. But we made it. Kicking and screaming, we made it. And now we have a happy, delightful 7 month old who doesn’t even remember the rough days

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On the Job Meditations for Moms

On the Job Meditations for Moms

A dark, short silhouette hovers over you and whispers “Mommy. Why are you still asleep?”  You mutter a dry throat grunt in response, while your hand searches the end table for your glasses forged in 1999.  Once your sight is restored, you eye the glowing green numbers of the clock…6:05. 

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Because Silliness is Next to Godliness

Because Silliness is Next to Godliness

Tonight, my kids and I had a super silly time dancing and singing with hundreds of other little kids.  I won’t lie, acting like a kid with lots of other kids is one of my favorite things in life.  Maybe that’s why I like my job as a Family Events

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A Must-Read for Moms: Loving the Little Years

Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here. I Like Order. Do You? My poor sweet, patient husband. I nearly

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3 Tips for Less Stressful Travel with Little Kids

3 Tips for Less Stressful Travel with Little Kids

Our family has gone from a low maintenance two adult caravan to a five person traveling circus in the past five years.  Traveling to and staying with family is something we look forward to, but we know it’s not easy anymore.  Besides the minivan overflowing with kid gear, some of

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Jesus' Birthday Cake

Jesus’ Birthday Cake

I mentioned last week that we’d be throwing Jesus a birthday party, like we’ve done the past few years on Christmas.  My kids seriously go nuts over this whole shindig.  Mainly, they love helping me make, decorate, and eat the cake.  Here’s the crazy delicious recipe I used once again. 

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Toy Swapping Mommies

Want to clean out all the toys that have lost their luster in your house?  How about get some free Christmas gifts for your kids?  What if you could do both of those things while having a fun night out with your friends? If you were nodding your head along

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Bring Him Unto Me

Bring Him Unto Me

This Morning’s Meditation by C. H. Spurgeon  “Bring him unto me.”—Mark 9:19. DESPAIRINGLY the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed, but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one when

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Book Review: Spiritual Parenting

Book Review: Spiritual Parenting

Dear Dads and Moms: If you pick up one parenting book this year, might I suggest Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families?  I’ve been reading and rereading it this past year and am consistently encouraged, convicted, and challenged as a parent as a result. This book has also influenced

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Sick Day Fun: Play Dough, Mr. Potato Head, and Me

Sick Day Fun: Play Dough, Mr. Potato Head, and Me

Having three small sick kids at home in the winter can be a bit of a challenge at times. Ok, if I’m honest…sick or not and winter or not, staying home with small kids is a challenge.  I can often get discouraged at how much “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training

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That Feeling When You Think of Home

That Feeling When You Think of Home

I wrote this post when I first had Jack (about three years ago) at Every Square Inch.  But, as I read it the other day, it was a good reminder to me of what I want to continue to strive for in our home.  I’m learning that the older my

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